Best Practices for Service Delivery Guidelines
- Involving communities helps ensure that all areas of vulnerability are covered and creates the possibility for quick response before, during, and after an emergency.
- Proper coordination for relevant parties allows for an effective and timely response. Relevant parties include health officials, fire and police departments.
- Technology advancements are an asset in disaster mitigation. In the recent past, emergency management agencies and departments have been leveraging updated technology and applying advancements.
- Involving the community, coordinating with the relevant parties, and leveraging updated technology are some of the best practices for developing service delivery guidelines within an emergency management framework. These practices have been tried and tested and are ideal internationally for fire and other emergency containment.
Involve the Community
- Involving the community is one of the best practices for developing service delivery guidelines for emergency purposes. Often, local, state, and federal government agencies need some time to gather the necessary response resources. The community may step up and mitigate the damages to the best of its ability, depending on the emergency scale, while waiting on the necessary authorities to gather response resources.
- The Fire Protection Association (FPA) in the UK is an example of a department that involves the community in its operation. In this case, FPA engages a team of local volunteers with basic training for disaster response and basic knowledge in fire safety, search, and rescue. Community volunteers must also have basic first aid skills and understand the fundamentals of team organization. Basic first aid skills are an asset for volunteers, especially when they need to mitigate risk and disaster in a community. These volunteers can participate in events, webinars, and workshops to learn more about disaster management.
- To successfully involve the community in emergency and disaster preparedness, it is important first to gather input from all stakeholders within the community. This ensures that all areas of vulnerability are covered and creates the possibility for quick response before, during, and after an emergency. This can help save many lives, especially when the stakeholders and volunteers are equipped with the ideal emergency tools. Emergency experts insist on the need to prioritize residents of low-income households as they are the most vulnerable and often hardest hit by disasters.
Proper Coordination with the Relevant Parties
- Proper coordination among relevant parties is one of the best practices for developing service delivery guidelines for emergency purposes. In this case, all relevant first responder agencies must have streamlined communication for flawless coordination and prior planning. Proper coordination for relevant parties allows for an effective and timely response. Relevant parties include health officials, fire and police departments.
- Fire departments must communicate and liaise with the National Weather Service to predict and monitor crises in case of a natural disaster. Fire departments will also liaise with local utility organizations to follow up on the restoration of electricity, gas and water, and other essential services. Ideally, these communication systems are often developed before a crisis as a counter-preventative measure to avoid time-wastage.
- Rayvn Global is an example of an emergency management agency with designated and well-established protocols that allow stakeholders to assess the emergency and the response or turnaround time during various disasters. The agency understands the importance of familiarizing its team members with the details of all emergency management plans and the categorized role they should play before, during, and after an emergency.
Leveraging Updated Technology
- Technology advancements are an asset in disaster mitigation. In the recent past, emergency management agencies and departments have been leveraging updated technology and applying newer emergency notification systems, IoT, disaster prediction models, satellite imagery, and drones in disaster management. By leveraging these technological advancements, these agencies and departments are better positioned to handle emergencies in good time.
- Competent emergency agencies and departments must constantly update their systems with emerging technologies. Outdated technology can make it difficult for health officials and fire departments to counter or attend to disasters in desired time. On the other hand, an updated and streamlined digital reporting process can sustainably improve turnaround time and save lives.
- Veolia is an example of an emergency response company in the UK that has leveraged emergency management software. This emergency management software has proven to be an effective way of communicating with the relevant stakeholders in emergencies. Updated technology tests critical communication systems to ensure that all team members and stakeholders have updated contact information at all times.
Case Studies of Service Delivery Guidelines
- The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service delivery guidelines are; prevention, protection, response, and resilience.
- GMFRS engages surrounding communities to be part of the risk aversion and mitigation team.
- In 2020, GMFRS volunteers followed service guidelines by giving more than 46,000 hours of service that included the Post Incident Team that helped residents to clear up in the aftermath of devastating fires.
- The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) are some case studies applying exemplary service delivery guidelines. These guidelines from Ireland and Manchester jurisdictions are similar to those used in New Zealand. These case studies have applied these guidelines to yield success in this field.
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service
- The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) delivery guidelines include measuring and monitoring risk across the community. This ensures that the stakeholders are better positioned to effectively respond to various emergencies, save lives and protect property and the environment. The service delivery guidelines apply proactive measures. NIFRS has a dedicated Regional Control Center, where all emergency calls are handled, and the necessary appliances and crews are dispatched to cater to emergency incidents.
- The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service delivery guidelines are; prevention, protection, response, and resilience. NIFRS is better positioned to respond to emergencies such as fires, road accidents, and multiple rescue incidents such as collapsed buildings, flooding, and chemical incidents with these guidelines. More so, the department provides a wide array of community engagement initiatives to ensure the community's safety.
- NIFRS has had several success metrics. In April 2021, for instance, the NIFRS successfully implemented its response and resilience guidelines by completing its Firefighting operations in the Mourne Mountains. NIFRS delegated firefighters, station appliances, vehicles, a Command Support Unit, and the Specialist Rescue Team to contain the vast wildfire. The turnaround time was impressive, and it helped to mitigate further damage. NIFRS also involved other first responders such as the Mourne Mountain Rescue, the Forestry Service, and Mourne Heritage Trust.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
- Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) delivery guidelines include responding to emergencies and making a positive difference in surrounding communities. As the second-largest fire and rescue service, the department's central policies are to save, protect, prevent, manage risk through the use of resources and deliver timely services. The department is tasked with planning and preparing for emergencies before they happen and make a quality, effective and resilient response when disaster happens.
- Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service delivery guidelines seek to influence and regulate the built environment with the primary aim of protecting people, property, and the overall environment from any harm. GMFRS engages surrounding communities to be part of the risk aversion and mitigation team. In this case, the department informs and educates communities on ways and measures to reduce risks and emergencies and attend to these emergencies once they happen.
- The GMRFS volunteer program offers up to 30 areas of work and empowers individuals to improve the safety of their communities. The volunteer program also equips individuals with skills that increase their employability. In 2020, GMFRS volunteers followed service guidelines by giving more than 46,000 hours of service that included the Post Incident Team that helped to clean up in the aftermath of devastating fires. GMRFS has also successfully implemented the FireFly and Fire Team program that offers curriculum courses to young adults that have been excluded from conventional school to help integrate them into mainstream services.
To provide a comprehensive report on developing service delivery guidelines for Fire and Emergency, we used credible and publicly available sources such as international government websites, Forbes, and official websites for the case studies we have applied in this report. We have managed to provide information on the best international practices for developing service delivery guidelines within an emergency management framework with these sources. More so, we have managed to provide a couple of case studies from two jurisdictions similar to New Zealand, that is, Ireland and Manchester. We have also deduced success metrics that prove how the guidelines have been successfully developed and implemented using these case studies.